Velocity Sellers, Inc

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Amazon’s Latest Changes: A Seller’s Guide to the Marketplace
April 18, 2018

The world of Amazon is constantly changing and in order to maximize your potential on this marketplace giant as a seller, you have to be in the know. We know it can be frustrating, but we’re here to help!

In the past year we’ve seen Amazon decrease the search terms field on the back end of listings from 5,000 characters to 250 characters, open up incredible features such as Headline Search Ads to Seller Central users, and launch the new Stores page, which allows brands to showcase their products and brand story all on one beautifully designed page.

As the Amazon branch of your business, Velocity Sellers is going to let you in on all the recently released changes, as well as what to expect in the future.

Vendor Central Terms Negotiations

In March, Vendor Central users saw the release of new terms, to which many noticed a big hike in percentage on Amazon’s side. Many Vendors are still in the process of negotiating these terms. Some have been successful in bringing these fees down and others are still waiting to hear back from Amazon, despite a proposed deadline of March 31st.

The most important thing we’ve seen occur is Vendors staying true to themselves by focusing on profitability, as well as providing evidence to Vendor Account Managers why the suggested increases aren’t feasible.In some cases, moving to Seller Central may be the best option. While this process can be time consuming, we ultimately believe that you have to do what’s best for your business. If that means relocating to Seller Central from Vendor Central, then we support you. We’re here to make that transition easier and quicker.

FBA Fee Hikes and How You are Affected

The Small and Light pricing system has changed it’s charging model. Originally charging a flat rate for Order Handling and then a per oz. price of $0.09/oz, Amazon has now changed the Order Handling fee to be based around sale price of the item, with items over $5.00 and under $15.00 seeing $1.00 charge, an increased Pick & Pack fee of $0.75 per unit, and a per oz. price of $0.11/oz up to 15 oz. More information can be found here.

Monthly inventory storage fees have increased $0.05/cubic ft., Long Term Storage Fees will be assessed monthly instead of semi-annually with a minimum charge of $0.50/unit per month for any items over 365 days in storage, and the Inventory Performance Index is now going to play an important role in inventory storage limits. All these changes are active as of April 1, 2018. For more information, take a look at Amazon’s release information here.

The Crackdown of Seller-Customer Communication

Everyone seemed to be put on edge regarding news of Amazon trying to limit the number of communications between Sellers and Customers to 1 message only!

After some more digging happened, we found out that it was more of a check on Seller’s current compliance with the existing policy Amazon had in place. The essence of this check is to make sure the language being used by Sellers is appropriate and within Amazon’s guidelines. No requesting of reviews with the placement of conditions or incentives are allowed.

If there is one thing we’ve seen hurt businesses in the long run it’s being short-sighted and looking for short term gain, while being outside of Amazon’s TOS. This will almost always come back to bite you.

So check your third party review emails and make sure your language is clear, concise, and following Amazon’s guidelines.

What Else is New?

Since Amazon is constantly improving and updating their processes, expect to see more changes in the future.

Utilization of Store Pages will be increasing. This will help with brand awareness on Amazon. It will also help brands stay competitive in their space while increasing market share. If we haven’t spoken about Store Pages with you, expect us to be reaching out to regarding this soon.

We’re keeping our ears to the ground and will continue to keep you abreast of all changes as we hear about them. Here’s to a successful 2018!

If you’d like to hear our opinion on how to deal with these changes, contact us.

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Peter Sims

Sales Executive & Brand Evangelist

Pete has been on Amazon for 3 years now and is very happy to found a home at Velocity Sellers. In his free time Pete is an avid hiker, runner, and bowler. He also enjoys reading any book he can get his hands on and making some tea to go along with it.

Arlind Hoxha

Creative Manager

As the Creative Manager at Velocity Sellers, Arlind leads with expertise honed over many years in creative agencies. He brings a wealth of experience guiding designers and excelling in ecommerce-focused endeavors. Beyond his professional prowess, Arlind is an avid gamer, seamlessly blending creativity and strategic thinking.

Florence Palahang

Administrative Manager

Holding a BS in Accountancy from Davao City and boasting seven years of experience as a Virtual Assistant, Florence has established herself as a valuable asset. With a background spanning 95 clients worldwide, she has found her niche at Velocity Sellers, focusing on Amazon marketplaces. Beyond work, Florence enjoys reading, crochet, and baking. Her collection of plants adds vibrancy to her mornings, and witnessing her family enjoy the outcomes of her efforts brings contentment to her universe.

Kiley Forche

Treasurer

An MBA graduate specializing in Finance, boasting 11+ years of expertise. Joined Velocity Seller in 2018, contributing to our growth. Outside work, treasures family time, exploring new destinations, and passionately supports Buckeye Football

Miljan Milev

Sr. Project Manager

Seasoned project manager adept in data and e-commerce projects, collaborating globally. Outside work, finds joy in traveling, cherishing moments with family and friends.

Camilla Messmer

Sr. Project Manager

University of Arkansas grad in Supply Chain Management, excelling in eCommerce project management. Enjoys baking, travel, and writing, adding a touch of creativity to every endeavor.

Zach Taylor

Director of Logistics

Zach, a graduate with a Sociology and Environmental Science degree from the University of Montana, has consistently found himself drawn to running businesses and improving business systems, logistics, and operations throughout his professional journey. In his free time, he enjoys cycling, running, and spending quality moments in the mountains with his family.

Chris Prall

Director of Advertising

A former chef turned Geomatics graduate. While studying, he delved into managing PPC campaigns for Amazon agencies and e-commerce clients, uncovering a passion for data-driven strategies. A maestro in crafting successful PPC campaigns, he’s fueled by driving client growth, from startups to 8-figure brands. Beyond work, Chris savors cooking, vinyl collecting, camping, and embracing the great outdoors

Steffanie Morrison

Director of Sales, Sr Marketplace Analyst

Steffanie brings a rich e-commerce background since 2013, selling products and advising brands. An analytical mind with degrees from Northern Illinois University and the University of Hartford, she resides in New Hampshire, relishing family moments, travel, and outdoor adventures like hiking and skiing with her husband and kids.

Eric Peterson

Director of Brand Onboarding

Master’s in marketing, film degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. At Velocity Sellers, he crafts brand value, excels in client service, and loves problem-solving. An advocate for animal welfare, he enjoys cooking, classic movies, and time with his dogs.

James Dee

Director of Brand Management

Over 20 years in e-commerce mastery, specializing in Amazon. Proven brand builder and business owner. Outside the office, a proud parent to five, including a Division 1 soccer player. Enjoys family time, the outdoors, and all things soccer.

Lisa Zajdel

Executive Director

Results-Driven Executive Director. With two decades of expertise in merchandising and retail, including a successful tenure as Kohl’s Private Label Buyer & E-commerce Manager, Lisa brings over 14 years of invaluable experience on Amazon. Her dedication to delivering results is unparalleled, ensuring a strategic, seasoned approach to optimizing your business for success.

Andrew Warner

CFO

Andrew Warner, Velocity Sellers’ CFO, occupies a central role in our financial triumph. His sharp fiscal oversight guarantees our operational efficiency, ultimately empowering our team to deliver unparalleled services to a global clientele, consistently setting high standards in the industry.

Jake Schwarzbaum​

CEO

As the Co-Founder and CEO of Velocity Sellers, Jake Schwarzbaum co-launched the company while supporting his father, Nathan, during leukemia treatments. His dedication to helping brands succeed on Amazon, without relying on automated systems, drives Velocity Sellers’ commitment to excellence.

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